by Steven Ertelt
August 25, 2005
Topeka, KS (LifeNews.com) — A Bush administration official says the state of Kansas likely wouldn’t lose federal funding for health care programs if it stopped paying for abortions in limited circumstances.
Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline has filed a lawsuit against pro-abortion Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to obtain a court order preventing the state from paying for abortions through its Medicaid program for poor residents.
Sebelius spokesperson Nicole Corcoran blasted the lawsuit last week and told the Lawrence, Kansas newspaper, "To comply with these requirements would jeopardize the health care dollars Kansas receives from Medicaid which totaled $1.2 billion last year alone."
Not so says Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt.
Leavitt told the Topeka Capital Journal newspaper he was aware of the lawsuit but didn’t know much about it. However, he said he doubted the lawsuit would cost the state any federal funds.
"I feel optimistic it does not, and we’ll learn more as time goes on," Leavitt said.
Kline also told reporters Wednesday, when Leavitt was in the state for a visit, that he didn’t think the lawsuit would put the federal money in question.
"We do not believe it jeopardizes any funds," Kline said.
Kline’s lawsuit says spending taxpayers’ money on abortions violates the state Constitution and its protection of "inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." The lawsuit comes after the state legislature approved a measure calling on the state’s attorney general to file the lawsuit.
According to state figures, seven abortions have qualified for Medicaid reimbursement in the 2005 federal fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. The state’s cost totaled $1,907.92.
Over the last either years, the state has paid for 28 abortions, costing more than $8,000.
Kline’s lawsuit also seeks to have the court declare that life begins at conception when "a new, unique and genetically distinct human being is formed, distinct from its host while dependent upon her."
The Kansas House voted 70-50 in March 2002 to ask the attorney general to ask the state Supreme Court to declare that life begins at conception.